Game Changer: Book Access for All Kids

November 15, 2018

Game Changer: Book Access for All Kids

There are many ways to create a book desert — an area where a child has little or no access to books. Maybe a school's budget cuts lead to closure of the library. Maybe a neighborhood bookstore closes. Maybe the closest public library is too far away to reach by public transportation.

Whatever the cause, the problem is clear: Too many children in the U.S. lack access to books.

This week, we're talking with literacy advocates Donalyn Miller and Colby Sharp about how crucial access is. It's a topic they address in their new book for K-8 educators, Game Changer!

Donalyn and Colby discuss how access to a wide variety of texts, choice in what to read, and time to read are “game changers” for the lives of all children, enhancing academic achievement while shaping kids’ understanding of themselves and their world. They also offer practical ways that educators and families can make small changes that can enrich their readers' lives in major ways.

Additional resources:


  • Donalyn Miller is a leading expert on independent reading, children’s literature, and the author of two bestsellers, The Book Whisperer and Reading in the Wild. She is founder of the annual #bookaday event, co-founder with Colby Sharp of The Nerdy Book Club, and co-host of the monthly Twitter chat, #titletalk. Her articles have appeared in Education Week Teacher, The Reading Teacher, Educational Leadership, The Washington Post, and other prominent periodicals.
  • Colby Sharp, a fifth-grade teacher at Parma Elementary School in Parma, Michigan, is co-founder of Nerd Camp and The Nerdy Book Club. He co-hosts the monthly twitter chats #sharpschu (with John Schumacher) and #titletalk (with Donalyn Miller), and, with Travis Jonker, The Yarn Podcast. He is the editor of The Creativity Project: An Awesometastic Story Collection.

Special thanks:

  • Music composed by Lucas Elliot Eberl
  • Sound mix and editing by Daniel Jordan
  • Produced by Emily Morrow

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